Thursday's hearing, into the Michael Jackson trial, took rather a bizarre turn.
Reporters and other members of the public were prohibited from talking in court, even before the proceedings started.
The rule was imposed after a reporter asked Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Sgt. Ross Ruth about a judge's order barring reporters from conducting interviews during breaks and hearings. Ruth responded by ordering his deputies to keep everyone silent.
One of Jackson's fans was removed from court by the bailiffs, for talking to the person next to her. Reporters had to write notes to each other.
The rule was rescinded during the day, apparently it was a "misunderstanding"; the "misunderstanding" was not explained.